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By: Robyn Irwin

Robyn Irwin

In society today, teenagers are responsible for the country’s’ next leaders, work generation and parents. It is vital that we as the youth participate in activities that are beneficial to our own well being and health. Unfortunately, this is not entirely the case today. Sadly many of the activities and youthful habits are those of negative impact: things like smoking weed and binge drinking at local bars are now regarded as “normal activities” and are not frowned upon anymore. Whereas being seen reading a Bible or taking part in animal conservation is relatively more frowned upon.

As a teenager and forming part of the youth generation in South Africa, I think there are many activities that are beneficial to us. I have compiled a list of 16 activities the youth of today would and should enjoy thoroughly:

Sports activities: gymming, swimming or jogging with friends.

Outreach Activities: things such as helping out voluntarily at the SPCA or at the local Retirement Village.

Part Time or Full Time work: things like promoting products for a company in exchange for money will help the youth avoid resorting to street drugs and alcohol abuse as it keeps the mind and body both busy, and in return, being motivated by receiving payment for your efforts.

Studying: “studying” and “fun” are not usually seen together in the same sentence often, but if one finds something that really interests them, then this could get one far in life.

Yoga: Yoga is a wonderful way of relieving stress and tension. One can attend classes and it is beneficial not only to the mind but also the human body as it builds muscle.

Bible Group: As a teen, we have very busy lives and often disregard the Lord Jesus. I think it is beneficial to all members of the youth to be in touch with their spiritual side. Attending Bible Study Groups on a Sunday evening is a great way to get in touch with your spiritual side as well as meet new people your age and socialize!

Group Outings: Gather around your friends and head out to your local cinema for a movie evening! This is a great way to meet new people because if your friends bring their friends and their friends bring their friends, then “the more the merrier” rule actually comes into play!

Diet vs. Foods: It is always great to step away from the norm and actually be open minded by trying something new at a restaurant near you! This could be something you may start to enjoy e.g Chinese food or Spicy Mexican dishes. Yum!

Scenery Change: It is healthy for our growing minds to welcome change and variety in our lives. It is important to keep our minds constantly interested and this is simple, for example changing the curtains in your bedroom or simply going away on vacation for a weekend can be just the change you need!

Retail Therapy: As being part of the youth, there are many new fads and designs coming in all the time,with regards fashion. It is vital that one keeps up with this and goes out every few months and treats themselves with a new pair of jeans or during this winter, a few new coats and jerseys!

Family Time: The youth of  today can often be criticized for neglecting their family due to the activities that take up most of the time in their days and having an active social life to keep satisfied. It is important to always treat and spoil our families such as taking our parents out for dinner once in a while or simply bonding with them over a game of soccer or tennis. Don’t forget about those who raised you.

Social Networking: This new phenomena has had its share of negative usage, but just as that saying goes, “you’ll never know until you try it”. Give it a go! Start up a Twitter account and start tweeting your friends this is beneficial for your social life and is entertaining and exciting as one can follow all their favorite celebrities or people who have positive thoughts to impart. Tumblr is also a fun way of sharing your thoughts and likes!

Go To A Concert: that band you have always wanted to see live, after months and months of singing aloud to their lyrics, go see them! If your favorite artists are around your area of residence, support their acts and enjoy the sounds that give you that good feeling.

Read a Book: Reading books are so good for the mind in various ways, including expanding our imagination and also improving our grammar. Reading is like watching television in your own head! Go to your nearest library and start reading a book that interests you and will have you turning the page in passionate anticipation non-stop.

Listening To Music: Music is such a wonderful escape as it releases endorphins that contribute to good moods and happiness levels. Putting on your favourite artists’ records can simply make one feel invincible, motivated and encouraged. I don’t think I have to explain the power of music to you for its true that it is a universal language.

Bliss From Animals: Get down to your nearest SPCA and offer your help. Animals and small puppies and kittens can bring immense bliss to one feeling down. Even a trip to the zoo can prove entertaining, educational and pure bliss from the creatures that colour our world.

These are my 16 suggestions, however you can draw up your own list of activities you can engage with for the purpose of simply enjoying this period of youth. It is not here forever and we may not be able to do all that we can now, forever, so be bold in your approach to your years of youth and invest abundance in them … the reaping can change your life for the better!